Posts in garden
Night time meanderings

Even in your neighborhood, slow down, find the beauty cultivated within your direct radius.  All of these incredible flowers were found on a walk less than a mile from my home.  To the beauty creators and cultivators, thank you.  It is crucial to reset by looking at nature and appreciating the small things.

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1. Miyazaki Y., Park B.J., Lee J. Nature therapy. In: Osaki M., Braimoh A., Nakagami K., editors. Designing Our Future: Local Perspectives on Bioproduction, Ecosystems and Humanity. United Nations University Press; New York, NY, USA: 2011. pp. 407–412.

2. Brunet M., Guy F., Pilbeam D., Mackaye H.T., Likius A., Ahounta D., Beauvilain A., Blondel C., Bocherens H., Boisserie J.R., et al. A new hominid from the Upper Miocene of Chad, Central Africa. Nature. 2002;418:141–151. [PubMed]

3. Tanaka A., Takano T., Nakamura K., Takeuchi S. Health level influenced by urban residential conditions in a megacity—Tokyo. Urban Stud. 1996;33:879–894. doi: 10.1080/00420989650011645. [Cross Ref]

4. Dye C. Health and urban living. Science. 2008;319:766–769. doi: 10.1126/science.1150198. [PubMed][Cross Ref]

5. Brod C.  Technostress: The Human Cost of the Computer Revolution. Addison Wesley; Boston, MA, USA: 1984.

Natural Medicine: The healing effects of the exposure to nature

My buddy, Kurt Beil, wrote a really interesting article last summer that I don't think I have shared here on my blog.  Kurt is an ND/Acupuncturist who studied Environmental Public Health as well.  His focus is on how Nature heals us.  I think we all know that getting out into the fresh air and sunshine (when it does shine here in Portland) makes us feel better at a core level.  Kurt's research proves it. I know that when I was in medical school, stressing out over some exam or research paper could easily be remedied by lacing up my running shoes and heading for one of the many green spaces and hiking trails.  They're calling it "Vitamin G", G for green!  It's just so TRUE.  So after you finish reading this article, get outside and bask in nature.  It's for your own good.  :)

Natural Medicine: The healing effects of the exposure to nature.

New Zealand Natural Medicine: Honey is where it's at.

My family and I have just returned from a sunny summer trip to New Zealand to visit our relatives.  It was so fun for me to check out the local plants and herbs growing there.  Much of New Zealand is lush, green, and bursting with plant life, many of which I had not seen before.  Some plants were relatives of the medicinal plants we have here in the Pacific NW. One plant I did not get a good photo of was the Manuka bush.  Honey made from the bees that frequent these bushes can have extremely high antibacterial qualities.  You can actually find some here in the states.  There is a rating system which uses UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) as a strength indicator, so you know what you're looking for:

The UMF Ratings (measure of antibacterial strength):

  • 0-4: Not detectable
  • 5-9: Maintenance levels only (similar to table honey and not recommended for special therapeutic use)
  • 10-15: Useful levels endorsed by the Honey Research Unit at The University of Waikato
  • 16 and over: Superior levels with very high activity.

It's mostly useful for external wounds---to help with the healing process.  If you've ever used hydrogen peroxide to clean a cut or scrape, Manuka honey will do just as well (without the free radical damage done by peroxide).  In fact, Manuka honey does use some peroxide activity to kill bacteria, a very small amount mixed in with  other anti-microbials.  So yay for honey!

I'll leave you with some of my own photos taken of the other plants I liked!  Enjoy a little slideshow and a slice of NZ scenery.

[slideshow]

A handmade healing salve!

Today, I'm working in my kitchen, whipping up a treat for the folks who come to the Green Sprouts Festival this weekend.  I've been infusing fresh organic calendula flowers in olive oil for 2 weeks, and today I'm turning that oil into a salve. salve 1 |sav; säv| noun an ointment used to promote healing of the skin or as protection.

The first 75 visitors to our booth this year will get a free sample of the Family Tree Medicine Calendula Salve!  We use calendula salve for cuts, scrapes, bruises, and other types of boo-boos.

You can also enter your name to win a brand new Moby Wrap.  Dr. Maurer and I both used this wrap for our little ones when they were babies. So, if you or someone you know is having a baby soon, stop on by, say hi, and try your luck at winning.

We look forward to seeing you there, rain or shine!

Scenes from the Clinic

Here at the clinic things are growing!  Our practices are growing, our vegetables are growing, and our happiness about being Naturopathic Doctors in a city as wonderful as Portland is, of course, always growing! We are already able to harvest lots of greens with beets and tomatoes just around the corner.  Always feel free to stop by and enjoy a bit of salad on us!

In your garden. In your city.

At my home, we are perpetually in the garden. Saturdays and Sundays are spent loving it, weeding it, planting, and harvesting (and then sometimes wondering what else we can do!) We came back from a wonderful camping trip to the Oregon coast this weekend, and within 10 minutes, we were out in the garden, checking on our little plant-lettes. We've grown plants from starts and seeds, and even potatoes and onions that were starting to sprout in the cupboard! There is something to be said about growing your own food, especially in these times of rising fuel and food prices. I find that there is almost nothing more satisfying than fresh veggies straight from the yard and right on my breakfast or dinner plate. The taste is the most satisfying aspect, but a close second is knowing that I'm giving energy back to the earth, and not depleting resources.

At my office, we also have a garden filled with spinach, chard, tomatoes, rhubarb, corn, squash, lettuce, peas, you name it. It's a teaching garden, and it's in a totally urban environment. You see, naturopathic medicine roots itself in sustainablilty-- Meaning the things we prescribe and teach for our patients are often things our patients can incorporate into their lives gradually, seamlessly, and for good.

Sustainability. I know it's becoming quite the buzzword, but there is a whole lot to it. There is a brand new magazine called Intentionally Urban (in-ur, for short). They just launched their first issue this month. It is a fabulous magazine that covers all aspects of urban sustainability, including urban gardening and urban chicken-raising. You can read the entire magazine online, and I encourage you to check it out.

Stay tuned to this blog for photos of our office garden. You can watch it grow with us, and maybe if you stop by for a visit, you can sample some of our tasty treats. The garden is health and life. We put love into it, and tend it with care. You can taste the difference.